As a result of the Canterbury earthquakes, there have been changes to the requirements for concrete floor slabs. Are you up to date?
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A national research programme looking into precast concrete floor performance in earthquakes is likely to result in revised guidelines for seismic assessment and retrofit of buildings with precast floors.
Fresh concrete contains significiant water which evaporates over time. Installing floor coverings on the floor slab before it’s dry is a recipe for disaster, so how do you know if it’s dry enough?
Concrete shrinks as it sets and will continue to shrink for at least 12 months after placing, depending on drying conditions. About 50% of the shrinkage occurs within the first 4 months.
Natural drying of a concrete slab will take several months and it’s important to ensure fixed floor coverings aren’t installed too soon.
BRANZ has been researching how to improve the insulation of concrete slab-on-ground floors and has found an alternative method which is practical and improves performance.
Lessons from the Canterbury earthquakes mean that all concrete floor slabs must now be reinforced with steel bars or welded mesh with a reasonable degree of ductility.
Earthquake damaged precast concrete floors are the focus of detailed investigation to help understand the role system response plays on the performance of precast floors. The ultimate goal? To improve building safety and reduce damage.